CHICHESTER-BASED Arun Speakers Club will celebrate 25 years of launching public speakers into the spotlight at a glitzy dinner today (March 1).
The award-winning club is celebrating helping more than 800 people since 1988, including launching the career of a former Chichester mayor.
“The club has grown and grown,” said Teresa Reay of the club, which helps people overcome not only shyness, but also serious speech impediments such as stammering.
“People come to us from all walks of life – they could be leaders in the local business community, disadvantaged youth, or even best men needing a wedding speech.”
“When people first come to us, they are often so nervous that, when they stand up, it takes them minutes just to say their name.”
The club counts among its achievements the mentoring of 200 young people through the Prince’s Trust, and the launch of 15 local and national charity ambassadors.
“The secret to our success is an atmosphere of play and support,” said Teresa.
One Navy officer’s stammer meant he couldn’t even go shopping without his wife. Too embarrassed to speak, he became afraid to leave his house.
“When he stood up to make his long and confident leaving speech,” Teresa remembered: “the entire room was in floods of tears.
“I never stop loving the lightbulb moments.”
The club will celebrate 25 years at Chichester Yacht Club on Saturday.
For more information, or if you wish to join Arun Speakers Club, visit www.arunspeakers.net